×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Lost Valentine

A wildly romantic Hallmark Hall of Fame production whose finest tear-inducing efforts evoke the sentimental appeal of "The Notebook."

With:
Susan - Jennifer Love Hewitt
Caroline - Betty White
Lucas - Sean Faris
Neil Thomas - Billy Magnussen
Young Caroline - Meghann Fahy

Adding to her late-in-life ubiquity, Betty White is easily the best reason to watch “The Lost Valentine,” a wildly romantic Hallmark Hall of Fame production whose finest tear-inducing efforts evoke the sentimental appeal of “The Notebook.” Alas, that’s only half the movie, and the other part — featuring Jennifer Love Hewitt as a TV reporter with her own relationship woes — is tired and predictable. Still, in the context of this storied franchise’s let’s-move-holiday-cards mandate, half a heart is preferable to none at all.

A sprightly octogenarian, White’s Caroline makes a sobering annual pilgrimage to the local train station, where she symbolically awaits the arrival of her husband, registered as missing during WWII, 65 years earlier.

A TV magazine reporter, Susan (Hewitt), is assigned the story, which she’s quick to dismiss as the kind of silly human-interest story that will hardly advance her career. (For anything but the purposes of a Hallmark movie, by the way, this would be true.)

Still, Susan is gradually drawn in by the uplifting Caroline, inspiring the reporter not only to re-examine her own unfulfilling relationship but to begin a flirtation with Caroline’s grandson (Sean Faris), who is initially skeptical of her motives.

For White, who has become something of a pop-culture marvel at 89, the role offers a chance to do something more than just dutifully play the foul-mouthed granny. She brings tenderness and warmth to Caroline’s decades-old love, which is illustrated through flashbacks featuring Meghann Fahy as her younger self and Billy Magnussen as her husband.

“?’Missing’ is not ‘dead,'” a pregnant, younger Caroline keeps repeating, grasping for a glimmer of hope, when the first telegram reaches her.

Even if Susan’s efforts to bring Caroline a measure of closure strain credibility, the payoff (adapted from James Michael Pratt’s book by director Darnell Martin and writers Maryann Ridini Spencer and Barton Taney) ought to thaw all but the most hardened hearts. The same can hardly be said of Hewitt, who — in her current TV movie phase — was put to better use as a mom turned hooker in Lifetime’s “The Client List.” Or maybe that’s just me.

Lost Valentine” occupies the softest side of the Hallmark universe. Thanks to White, though, it’s still worth opening this heart-shaped box, even if you already have a pretty good idea what’s inside.

The Lost Valentine

Movie; CBS, Sun. Jan. 30, 9 p.m.

Production: Filmed in Georgia by Hallmark Hall of Fame Prods. in association with Paulist Prods. Executive producers, Brent Shields, Jennifer Love Hewitt; producers, Andrew Gottlieb, Barbara M. Gangi; line producer, Christopher Morgan; director, Darnell Martin; writers, Maryann Ridini Spencer, Barton Taney; based on the book by James Michael Pratt.

Crew: Camera, Frank Prinzi; production designer, Gary Weist; editor, Michael Ornstein; music, Mark Adler; casting, Molly Lopata. 120 MIN.

Cast: Susan - Jennifer Love Hewitt
Caroline - Betty White
Lucas - Sean Faris
Neil Thomas - Billy Magnussen
Young Caroline - Meghann FahyWith: Nadia Dajani, Will Chase.

More TV

  • Robert Iger and Rupert Murdochcredit: Disney

    Wall Street Applauds as Disney Nears Finish Line on Fox Acquisition

    Wall Street is rooting for Disney as the media giant reaches the finish line this week in its 15-month quest to acquire most of Rupert Murdoch’s film and TV empire. Fox shareholders, on the other hand, are being a little more cautious. Disney is poised to close the $71.3 billion deal that took many twists [...]

  • Skam Season 2 Bows on Movistar

    Spanish Remake Of 'Skam' Returns to Movistar + on March 28

    MADRID — Movistar +, the pay TV unit of telco giant Telefonica, has set a March 28 release for Season 2 of “Skam España,” the Spanish remake of Norwegian cult web-TV hit teen drama “Skam” (“Shame”) whose plot, at least in the second season, begins to diverge from the Nordic original. Produced in collaboration with [...]

  • HBO Asia Unveils Three New Originals,

    HBO Asia Unveils Slate of Originals, Renews ‘Teenage Psychic’ for Second Season

    HBO Asia has unveiled a trio of new original series and a second season of its hit “The Teenage Psychic.” The new shows bring the number of original series commissioned and distributed by the Singapore-based offshoot of HBO to 15. “Dream Raider” will be HBO Asia’s first Asian sci-fi drama, an eight-episode hour-long series that [...]

  • Supergirl -- "O Brother, Where Art

    Jon Cryer Breaks Down Playing 'Sociopath' Lex Luthor on 'Supergirl'

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” the Mar. 17 episode of “Supergirl.” After seasons of build-up, Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) made his “Supergirl” debut in the fourth season episode entitled “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” Initially, the supervillain positioned himself as a sick man, eager [...]

  • George M. Lehr Dead: Man From

    George M. Lehr, 'Man From U.N.C.L.E.' Associate Producer, Dies at 87

    George M. Lehr, associate producer on such classic TV series as “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” and “Police Woman,” and later a professor at USC’s School of Cinema & Television, died March 14, in Erie, Pa., after a short illness. He was 87. Lehr worked on television shows at MGM, 20th Century-Fox and Columbia for more [...]

  • FilMart: HBO Asia CEO Jonathan Spink

    FilMart: HBO Asia CEO Jonathan Spink Praises Local Content Strategy

    CEO of HBO Asia since 2003, Jonathan Spink has seen the growth of pay-TV in Asia, the moves towards content localization and original production, and has faced up to the challenge of internet-based streaming services. He joins Variety on Monday in a keynote presentation at Hong Kong’s FilMart, and is expected to unveil an expanded [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content